Wednesday, July 30, 2008


After I had Asher, I realized that hoping in and out of my car to complete an errand was no longer going to be quick or easy. I suddenly began finding all the things that I could do by driving up to a drive-thru. These are a few that I take advantage of often: mail a letter at the post office, return my movie to Blockbuster (although the box isn't always open at the one on West End--why is this?), go to the bank or drycleaners, and even drop off/pick up a prescription at Wal-Greens without ever getting out of my car. Fabulous, especially when you have a baby/toddler that doesn't mind being in his carseat.

As great as all that is, I find myself wanting more....
I wish that the post office had a drive-thru service to purchase stamps and mail packages.
I wish that there was a drive-thru service at the grocery store. What I really think would be a great thing is for the option to call in your order at the grocery store (within a certain limit of items of course), and you could pull up to curbside pick-up and they would deliver your products to your car (because you gave them the description of your car, like when you order food from a nicer restaurant). Oh if only this would come about before baby #2 arrives! Any takers to create this great venture? I hope this doesn't sound like I am lazy. It's just sometimes the trip to go in and just get milk shouldn't take 15 minutes because Asher now knows about the elevator at Harris Teeter and wants to go up even though we don't need anything on the second floor. :) And just to add that I really am not trying to be selfish, I think this would be a great option for the elderly and handicapped customers.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Upcoming Consignment Sales

I am really looking forward to shopping at some upcoming consignment sales, especially with the second baby on the way. There are several things that I love about a consignment sale. You can find some really great clothes, toys, and other baby items at much cheaper prices than a department store. Asher doesn't realize that he is getting used toys and no one can ever tell that Asher's clothes are used verses brand new. Kids grow so quickly that it's a great way to give and get clothes. It benefits our environment by "recycling" products rather than creating more waste from new products that will be used for 6months or less.

Here are a few that are upcoming in the Nashville area:
  • Hand Me Ups/Once Around the Blocks Kids July 30-31 (9am-9pm) @ West End Community Church
  • WeeWares July 31-Aug 2 (9am-6pm) @ David Lipscomb University Student Activity Center
  • Otter Creek Sale Aug 21-22 (8am-6pm) @ Otter Creek Church (where I attend)

For other sales and dates, check here.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Summer Olympics in Nashville

David and I live in Hope Gardens, a neighborhood just minutes from downtown Nashville. A neighborhood committee has begun to organize fun events for the kids in the neighborhood. Last night, Asher and I went to our neighborhood playground to watch the "Summer Olympics." The kids drew different countries' flags on the walking path and made signs for all the different events, including the water balloon toss pictured above. Asher enjoyed throwing the wiffle ball around (that they later used for a spoon relay contest). Unfortuntely, there wasn't a ball throwing contest for Asher to participate in so we just watched.The kids were all given medals to award their hard efforts in the night's events.

This is my friend Rebecca with her little boy, Gavin. Rebecca is the one who has been organizing all of these fun events and does a great job!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Wedding Shower

This past weekend the ladies of our lifegroup at church hosted a wedding shower for Lindsey (pictured above with her fiance' Andrew...this is not a picture from the shower).
I took on making the cake for the shower. Lindsey requested a vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting. This was my first attempt at a tiered cake. One of the hardest parts was figuring out how I was going to get it from our house to the church where the shower was. The design on the cake was taken from the napkins. The other hardest part was trying to match the napkin colors with the icing colors, which I was never able to get exactly how I wanted. Overall, I was pleased with the outcome.
We had delicious food to nibble on while Lindsey opened her gifts, including chocolate covered strawberries (made by Sherisse)...yum!
The hostesses of the party with Lindsey ...Jodi, Sherisse, Lindsey, Angie, Jean, and myself (nice side view for those wanting a pic at 28weeks!) and can't forget Carrie (not pictured b/c she had her sweet baby girl the day of the shower).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pasta Fresca

David and I took a trip to Italy before Asher was born and while we were there we enjoyed some of the best pasta. Whenever we would look over the menus of restaurants, we would always try to find "pasta fresca" which means "fresh pasta." If you have never had fresh pasta and can't make a trip to Italy, Nashville has the place for you...Lazzaroli Pasta. Lazzaroli Pasta is a store located in historic Germantown on 5th Avenue North. A friend tipped me off on it this week and told me they were making a special batch of whole wheat pasta. So, I had to go check it out. I chose the whole wheat linguine and couldn't resist the spinach ravoli (our favorite dish while in Italy). Their selection includes: fresh pasta, varieties of ravioli, homemade sauces, and many different pantry items. They also have vegan and wheat/gluten free pastas. For their more speciality items like the vegan or whole wheat, it's best if you call in advance to place your order and they will most likely have it ready later that day or 24 hours later.
(picture from Lazzaroli's website)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fun Sounds

Asher is making fun sounds these days as he is learning to put new sounds together. I just can't wait until he starts forming them into actual words so that we can figure out what he is trying to tell us. Hope you enjoy hearing him as much as we do.

Asher and a fork

Asher has decided that he loves to eat his food with a fork. I don't know many people who eat their bread with a fork but that is what Asher is eating above. He even tried stabbing his Cheerios with a fork this morning. (This also is not the normal fork we give him but he found it in our picnic set and wanted to give it a try.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Safe Mama

As many of you know, I am trying to find more natural, safe products for our family to use. It is difficult these days to research everything and try to find what is best. I know that many of my friends have switched their bottles to either glass or other safe plastics that are BPA-free (like Born Free). Sunscreen has been a big issue for me this summer since Asher's skin seems a little more sensitive and many of the brands have some harsh chemicals in them. Our doctor recommended Blue Lizard, which I have been using. I had not researched it until recently and found it to be a safe sunscreen on average but has a higher health risk than others on the market. Here is a list of safer baby sunscreens: Jason's Sunbrella's Minerals, California Baby SPF 30, and TruKid Sunny Days Everyday Mineral Sunscreen. One of the mom's in our playgroup recommended this website: . They are known for their "one-stop child safety, product-recall, well-being, eco-conscience resource for parents." They have new information everyday that is very helpful. Today's post stated that Pyrex lids are BPA-free...very helpfuul information. So if you are needing some help on certain products and don't have time to call the manufacturer, you should check this website out!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Last night David and I attended the American Dream Banquet that honored "two individuals who have worked to build mutual understanding and respect between immigrants and U.S. born Tennesseans." At this banquet, we were introduced to the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC). I was amazed to learn that between 1990-2005, Tennessee has the fourth fastest rate of immigrant growth in the US. The main focus of TIRRC is to (1) build a statewide voice for immigrants and refugees, (2) empower immigrants and refugees to be active community particpants, (3) actively promote diversity through public awareness, (4) defending the American Dream. You can learn more about TIRRC here.

The two pictures above are examples of billboards that are being placed in Tennessee and are a good reminder to all of us on hospitality to the stranger. After living in Kenya for 6 months, I can in a very small way relate to those who are coming to the US as immigrants and the difficulties that they are facing. I remember the culture shock that I felt in a new country and trying to adjust my "ways" to the "ways" of Kenya. I remember feeling lost at times in the Swahili conversations around me and wondered what our neighbors in Kenya thought of the white, American couple living among them. During our six month stay, we learned a variety of Swahili words and a few phrases but were never close to being fluent. I never felt judged or "less than" those around me because I could not speak their native tongue. Every Kenyan we met made us feel welcomed and comfortable in their country despite our vast different backgrounds of culture, language, and even food tastes. From the experience, I can transfer that same hospitality shown to me to those that I meet here in the US who are trying to make this strange new land home. I can do that not only because of my own experiences but also because that is what we are called to do as Christians and as it says in Matthew 25:40, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Florida Family Vacation

With the dreary summer days we are having this week, I thought that I would post about our family vacation to Destin, Florida earlier this summer. We went in May with David's family before it was too hot and too crowded. Our family joined Grandpops and Nana, Uncle Greg, Aunt Angie, Elijah and Meadow, and Uncle Steve, Aunt Julie, Luke and Katie. Thanks, Nana and Grandpops for a fun week!

Nana, Grandpops, and grandkids (Asher, Katie, Elijah, Luke and Meadow)

Family picture on the beach

This is the beach we would hang out on during the day but the homes in the background are not where we stayed.

Elijah and Luke loved wearing Nana's hat and pretending they were "Nana" while they did. Asher watching.
Keeping ourselves shaded while playing on the beach.
Asher LOVED playing in the water (although not the waves) and the sand. Daddy and Asher in the neighborhood pool.
Asher enjoying his shovel and bucket.

Cousin Luke checking out the crabs at a "local" pier restaurant we ate.

Family picture on the pier after we had dinner.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Natural Household Cleaning Products

We are trying to remove as many environmental toxins in our home as possible. I found these nontoxic cleaners and their household uses to be a helpful start (source: Growing Up Green by Deirdre Imus).
Lemon juice--A natural odor-eater that can be used to clean glass and remove stains from aluminum, copper, clothing, and porcelain. Acts as a mild lightener or bleach when exposed to sunlight. Adding juice from half a lemon to the wash cylce will help get rid of clothing odors.

Baking Soda--Neutralizes acid, scrubs shiny materials without scratching, unclogs and cleans drains, extinguishes grease fires, and removes certain stains. Also, can be used to deodorize refrigerators, carpets, and upholstery. Can clean and polish aluminum, chrome, jewelry, plastic, procelain, silver stainless steel, copper, and tin.

Table salt--Great at removing rust, used with lemon juice to clean copper, mixed with vinegar to polish brass. Makes for a great scouring powder.

White distilled vinegar--Great at removing stains, dissolves mineral deposits and grease, removes traces of soap, removes mildew or wax buildup, polishes some metals, and deodorizes your home. Use it to clean coffeepots, windows, brick, stone, carpets, toilet bowls. A tablespoon of vinegar added to your rinse cycle will act as a fabric softener. Also, can be heated in a bowl in your microwave to loosen difficult stains.

For other uses of these and other natural products, go here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Spanish Story Hour and other books

Today, Asher and I went to our neighborhood library for story hour. One of our neighborhood mom's is from Mexico and with her fluency in Spanish, she read this book above in Spanish while another mom read it in English. I realize that Asher doesn't know what is being said but I am thankful for this exposure that he is getting. Last week, she taught us "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" in Spanish.

Here are a few of Asher's favorite books right now:
My Two Hands, My Two Feet by Rick Walton (very cute illustrations!)

From Head To Toe by Eric Carle
We also love all of Sandra Boynton books, especially Pajama Time and Barnyard Dance.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Second Avenue Trade Company

These are a pair of earrings that I bought from a new fair trade company last week.
My friend Linda invited me to a party that was introducing a new fair trade company that is based out of Nashville. It was a really fun evening with musical artists playing while we checked out the items for sale. We also learned about Global Support Mission that is sponsored through this company. They are currently selling products, including jewelry, paper products, home accents, and other products, from Nepal and Uganda. You can learn more and even shop by visiting Second Avenue Trade Company. I was simply amazed by all of their beautiful hand-crafted products and still cannot believe that the prices are fair trade. I am always looking for options like these to buy products that I know are helping people who are living in extreme poverty. Below is a picture of Victor who lives at the Home Again Orphanage supported by Global Support Mission.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fourth of July

Our fourth of July was pretty layed back. We met some of our friends and family (David's parents, Greg, Angie, Elijah and Meadow) at the family picnic that concluded the Lipscomb University lectureship. It was a nice, relaxing evening on the campus. The event was catered by several different vendors so David was able to get his bbq and I settled for the Chick-fil-A. We had a great time visiting with our friends and Asher kept us (mostly David) busy walking around everywhere his curious little eyes took him.
Above is Asher playing with his friend Ethan.
Family picture of us on the Lipscomb campus (hope you enjoy the view of me at 25 weeks!).
After dinner, we headed home to put Asher to bed and then later that evening watched the downtown fireworks from our porch (another nice thing about living downtown).

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Cooking with fresh local food

These are two dishes that I have made this week from some of the fresh vegetables and fruits that we receive weekly from our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). The above picture is eggplant parmesan stacks and you can find the recipe here. The bottom picture is a blackberry crumble and you can find the recipe here. This summer we have joined Avalon Acres and split a 1/2 bushel with another family every week. We have received quite a variety of food (summer squash, onions, cumcumbers, tomatoes, corn, strawberries and blackberries just to name a few things), and we are looking forward to the rest of the summer. I highly recommend joining one if you get a chance. It is helping me become more creative with recipes and helping us eat plenty of fruit and veggies. Plus, we are supporting our local farmers! (Photos from

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Asher's one year pics

We finally had Asher's one year pictures taken (even though he is now 15 months). This is a little preview from our photo session. We can't wait to see the others. Love that they were able to capture Asher and baby brother (due October 12th) in a shot! Brooke an assistant to Krista Lee took Asher's can check out their blog/website here:

Here goes nothing

I have been wanting to start a blog for quite some time now. I hope that I can keep up with this so that friends and family can keep up with our everyday lives. Hope that you will keep reading and leave a comment from time to time so that I know you are out there.